Shoes, coats, umbrellas, backpacks, sports equipment…it was all ending up in heaps in the garage and on the floor inside the front door. We have a tiny coat closet near the door to our garage and a small basket for shoes by the front door, but other than that, we have very little space to contain all of that ‘stuff’ that we use daily. And that’s definitely a problem with an active family of five.Here’s a picture to give you a better idea of our home’s layout as you enter the house through the garage, which is the entrance we use most often.As you can see, the door from our garage leads you through a narrow laundry room and the small coat closet is just outside of the laundry room. There’s just not a lot of space for convenient storage.
Oh how I dream of having a mudroom (like this one or this one); a whole room to neatly organize and store all of the items that seem to constantly clutter up the entrances to our house. But for now, it is just that; a dream. We needed to embrace the home we have and come up with a solution to our mess.
Over the last year, I’ve tried several different solutions. First, I bought a bench and hung some hooks to hold coats and backpacks. That was an okay fix, but there was still no place to store shoes and all of the coats and backpacks just ended up in a heap on the bench instead of on the floor. Not the ideal solution.
Then I found a cute steamer trunk at a vintage show and thought it would work better than the bench because we could all throw our shoes inside of it. Well, I failed to realize that the trunk could not be pushed flush up against the wall because of the way it hinged open. So each time we wanted to open it, we had to pull it away from the wall first. And the lid was too heavy for the kids to lift easily anyways. Another fail.
Ideally, I wanted to rip out our coat closet and have custom lockers built so that we would each have our own place to store our shoes, coats, etc. But Jacob looked at me like I was absolutely nuts. Who would want to rip out a perfectly good coat closet in a brand new home and then pay a large sum of money to have custom cabinets built?! Me, that’s who. But obviously that was a no-go.
So on to the next plan. Since I couldn’t have custom storage built, what if I could find a small set of vintage metal lockers to put next to the coat closet? So the hunt began.
Months later, I stumbled upon this cute little stack of cubby lockers that were the perfect size. They needed a little work, but were just what I was looking for.After a good cleaning, a little paint job, a wood top that I made and some new locker tags (from Etsy), they look awesome AND are doing a great job of hiding our shoes and the kids’ sports junk.
I like to keep the vintage soda crate on top to corral the massive amount of papers the kids bring home from school too.So what do we do about our coats and backpacks then, you ask?Well we still hang the coats we don’t use as often in the coat closet and I made a coat rack to hang the jackets and bags we use daily. I used some old barn wood and molding and added hooks and hung it on the opposite wall of the hallway. I also turned an old window into a mirror to hang above.Here’s a picture of it without all of the backpacks on it so you can get a better idea of what the coat rack looks like.And just because I am in love with the old rusty hardware on this mirror, I thought I’d show you a close up.Shoes still litter the floor by the front door, but at least we have a good spot to keep our jackets and bags hung up and store extra shoes and sports equipment now. I’m working on training the kids to pick up their shoes by the front door and put them away in their lockers, but that’s a work in progress 🙂